Final Ozone Rule

After years of acrimonious fights between industry, states, environmentalists, and the administration, EPA has issued final ozone standards. The revised measure lowers the current threshold from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 ppb. Environmentalists had called for a figure as low as 60, which would have cost up to $39 billion. Today’s final rule will impose “just” $1.4 billion in annual costs, exclusive of California.

The Regulation That Will Lead To Retirement Savers Paying $1500 in Duplicative Fees

As part of its Policy in 60 Seconds video series, the American Action Forum today released a new video focusing on the fiduciary regulation and its impact on retirement savers. The regulation, issued by the Department of Labor, imposes new standards for financial advisers and a recent study by AAF found that it will ultimately hurt investors by forcing them to pay $1500 in duplicative fees per account.

The Week in Regulation

After $14 billion in regulatory costs, regulators managed to add another $5.3 billion in burdens. Beyond the staggering regulatory costs, rulemakings also imposed 7.7 million paperwork burden hours. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) led the week, with two food safety final rules. In addition, EPA’s oil and gas methane proposal finally landed in the Federal Register. The per capita regulatory burden for 2015 is $486.

The Daily Dish

Since 2009, the Obama Administration has finalized 2,519 rules at a total regulatory burden of $674.1 billion, and adding 435.5 million hours of paperwork. With a new regulation imposing $263 million daily, it is hardly a surprise that the business community has descended on Capitol Hill looking for assistance. The Hill newspaper reports that "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday sent a letter to members of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee voicing broad support for the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015."

President Obama’s Air Pollution Record

Recent air pollution data and regulatory actions by the Obama Administration demonstrate that Americans are paying more for less. Between 2005 to 2009, the nation experienced a decline of 11,116 days of moderate to hazardous air pollution (across all jurisdictions). During the Obama Administration, this decline slowed to 3,897 fewer days of moderate to hazardous pollution, despite the economic recession and billions of dollars more in regulatory costs. From 2009 to present, EPA regulations, primarily to reduce air emissions, have added more than $295 billion in net present value costs, while air pollution’s decline is not nearly as pronounced as in the past. That’s roughly $75 million spent for each day of cleaner air.

The Costs and Benefits of a 700% Solar Power Increase

On the heels of President Obama’s $8.4 billion “Clean Power Plan,” policymakers have started offering more details about their energy and regulatory plan. One plan calls for a 700 percent increase in solar power, from about 20 gigawatts (GW) of projected generation by 2020, to 140 GW. This seven-fold increase in solar capacity won’t be cheap. According to American Action Forum (AAF) calculations, it will cost up to $240 billion to install this additional solar capacity by 2020. The climate benefits, always uncertain and dependent on the discount rate, vary between $6.1 billion and $18.3 billion annually.

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